The campaign will run throughout 2015 and into 2016, covering all aspects of cat safety. A range of dangers will be highlighted, including poisons, cats eating strange things and accidental injuries, as well as looking at which diseases can be prevented by vaccination and parasite control. Microchipping and the safe use of collars will also be featured, as these can reduce the risk of cats with outdoor access not being returned to their owners if they get lost or injured.
Being poisoned is one of the most distressing, yet preventable, accidents which can happen to cats. Working with VPIS and Agria, both of whom hear in detail about incidents of poisonings, we will look at the most common poisons, including lilies, permethrin (found in dog flea products), disinfectants, ethylene glycol (antifreeze) and paracetamol. Other, less common toxins will also be covered, such as white spirit/turpentine substitute poisonings (which peak over Bank Holidays when people decorate their houses), or benzalkonium chloride poisoning which can be more of a danger when people clean their patios in the spring.
We will also look at the most common accidental injuries (eg, from collars, falls, road traffic accidents) and ingested foreign bodies (eg, needles, rubber bands, wool), using data from Agria Pet Insurance and other sources.
There will be advice for owners on each topic, covering where the risks are, what the signs of poisoning/injury are, what to do, and how the risks can be minimised.
For veterinary professionals, there will be in depth advice on clinical signs, treatment and prognosis.
The campaign kicks off by highlighting the dangers of disinfectants, with recommendations for owners on their safe use. For vets and nurses there is an introduction to toxicology, and detailed advice on presentation and treatment of benzalkonium chloride exposure in cats.